Source: ell brown via flickr

Source: ell brown via flickr

Speed enforcement cameras are coming to select school zones across the city. The New York Times is reporting that the state legislature passed a bill that would install the controversial cameras in 20 school zones as part of a five-year pilot program.

Speeding across the city, especially in Brooklyn, has been a lightning rod of controversy in recent months. State Senators Marty Golden, Dean Skelos and Simcha Felder led the opposition against the plan to install speed enforcement cameras citywide, arguing that they wouldn’t be effective and might cost police jobs. Their opposition led to an explosion of rage from camera proponent Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who demanded that constituents personally hold them responsible the next time someone dies in a speeding accident.

The fight for speed enforcement cameras was further politicized when it was revealed that Golden and Felder were willing to trade support for the cameras if Bloomberg supported a plan to pay for busing for private yeshivas. Bloomberg rejected that plan.

The Times described that the fight over speed enforcement cameras underscored the ongoing problem of requiring Albany to legislate city matters:

The fight over the speed cameras — similar proposals had stalled in Albany for years — was yet another example of how what are considered local issues often require state approval, to the frustration of city officials. New York City’s public advocate, Bill de Blasio, said on Saturday that the city should be given the authority to install speed or red-light cameras “without the need for an all-out legislative campaign in Albany.”

A school zone is officially defined as a quarter-mile space surrounding a school. In New York City, there are 1,700 public schools, not counting the private ones, so the approved legislation is serving as a five-year test to possibly pave the way for a broader citywide plan.

“Once parents realize, ‘Hey there’s this great option, but the city isn’t going to be able to bring it to me for who knows how long,’ I think there’s gonna be a lot of pressure from all over the city,” Juan Martinez, the general counsel for Transportation Alternatives, told Capital New York.

As we previously reported, those caught by the cameras would be subject to a $50 fine and the cameras will only be active one hour before and after the school day starts and ends.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the legislation into law.

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  • MyBrooklyn

    Thats how all starts….under pretense lets keep only school zones safe…this

    will eventually spread slowly and gradually to main roads…only people that will

    avoid this BS crooks aka law makes, politicians and cops….meanwhile idiots like

    us will support this BS and every time you get caught you pay a hefty ticket

    and your insurance rate goes up…herd get ready to pay up

    • duh

      ummm, duh, then DON’T SPEED. Oh, yeah, not an option.

  • guest

    What a joke. Make sure this covers all cyclist as well. If they are speeding in these school zones they better get a ticket for running red lights and speeding. They are the ones who are becoming increasingly out of control. They are the ones running more reds then cars. They are the ones playing chicken with cars on the belt parkway near knapp street. They are the ones who need to have their bicycles taken away from them. This entitlement rampage by the cycling elite must end. We care so much about safety we place them on roads where they will do very little but hurt the everyday driver for going 22 mph. This isn’t going to deter any moron that chooses to speed at 50 mph down a side street. This wacky administration thinks cars are bikes. Hire the crossing guards back.

    • Ned Berke

      From your comment, it sounds like you, wacky commenter, think bikes are cars.

      Bikes have nothing to do with this. Cars are dangerous. Yes, bikes can be too. But cars are 2,000 pounds of steel, glass and fuel hurtling through our streets with fewer and fewer resources on hand to keep at bay the nutjob drivers like the drunk who murdered that woman last week. Driving in this neighborhood is noticeably worse than most other places in the city (and the fact that we’re near the top of the list in traffic fatalities, accidents and speeding violations citywide makes that an objective fact), while we have almost no cycling culture or density of cyclists. So don’t tell me that it’s cyclists that are driving the trends in the 6-1. It’s just patently false.

      And, FWIW, I own and ride a bike, but don’t consider myself a cyclist or care for Transportation Alternatives or universal “traffic calming” or any of that. Cars are vital to our economy and to Southern Brooklyn culture (throttled, as it is, in terms of mass transit). Nor do I think this proposal is awfully effective. But I also don’t care for nuts like you who clearly think it’s okay to shrug off responsibility or accountability for being a menace because “oh, I sawz a biksy go tru da red light once.”

      Cycling elite. Wagh. Poor freakin’ you.

      I look forward to hearing YOUR proposal for reducing accidents, speeding and traffic fatalities. Until then, keep your whiny missives about bikes to posts about bikes.

      • BrooklynBus

        My question is when will these cameras be running? At school arrivals and dismissals? ( no problem with that) when classes are in session and kids shouldn’t be crossing the street anyway? Or at 3 in the morning when no one should even have to slow down to 20 mph?

        The city is going maximize revenue from these cameras. They will ever install them to run only fr 4 hours a day.

        • MyBrooklyn

          You know

          you have very good point…what you said is indeed interesting how they will

          implement that scam…don’t get me wrong I want drivers to slow down when kids

          start school and leave school….I have kids of my own who go to school, but if

          the whole idea again to rip people off, then I am totally against this madness…I

          would rather take my time and ask my kids to be extra careful and wait for

          their light unlike like so many kids cross not when it’s their light.

          • guest

            How can a camera that picks up evidence of speeding be “ripping the people off”? Hmmm, the city gains revenue by ticketing reckless drivers, and saves a couple of lives. That’s a real rip-off! What are you arguing for: for the right to speed???? And I love the excuse “it will cost police jobs”. Let’s throw in jail any citizen that ever prevented a crime because it “costs police jobs”, is this some kind of joke?

        • guest

          Read the fucking article Allan

          • Brooklyn Bus

            Missed that one line. No problem if that is actually what happens. How many times have we been lied to by goverment? Remember all the extra money for education if we only approve a state lottery? How much extra money did education actually get? Nothing, because lawmakers merely shifted education money to the general fund and replaced it with lottery money.

      • guest

        The gentleman’s comments are indeed in the wrong place. Speeding and reckless driving in this neighborhood has reached epidemic levels. It’s fearful.

        But I hope his points about cyclists are taken up by the government, and by this fine blog at some point. Cyclists do not feel they need to stop at red lights, even for pedestrians. I’ve been given the finger one too many times when they make me wait for them to go by, even though I have the walk sign. I get the customary finger when I yell out “red light” all the time.

        • guest

          I want to make clear that I applaud this blog taking a definite stand against the insane driving in this neighborhood. I thought I was imagining it, it seems every block somebody is almost running me over. My comments about the cyclists are an aside to the main issue.

  • Guest

    Everyone protesting the cameras should immediately be issued a ticket, since its obvious that they are repeat speed-offenders!

  • BrooklynBus

    Just heard Bloomberg say on the radio that the fine would be $60 not $50 with warnings for the first week. They will also be able to move the 20 authorized cameras to non-school zones if they want to. Typical government. Say one thing then do something else.

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